Gino's Restaurant, a family endeavor led by Biagino (Gino) Mazza, opened its doors on November 1, 1983, in Johannesburg's quiet southern suburbs. Contrary to trends favoring the northern suburbs, this bold move involved the entire Mazza family, from parents Guiseppe and Antonia to siblings Carmela, Maria, and Domenico (Dom). The restaurant, initially named 'Paesa', quickly became a hidden gem, drawing patrons from all over the city, and was renowned for its exceptional pizza, often resulting in hours-long waits.
In the mid-90s, amidst the franchising wave, the Mazzas made another unconventional choice by moving to an industrial area in Robertsham, where they established a central kitchen. This move, led by Mr. Mazza (Babbo) and Carmela, supported their brief foray into franchising. However, maintaining authenticity proved challenging, and the plan was eventually shelved.
Today, Gino's legacy continues through two family-run establishments. The original in Robertsham, now run by Gino and Carmela, retains its charm with help from Gino's daughters and long-standing staff members. Babbo and Antonia, now retired, split their time between Italy and South Africa. The second restaurant, established in 1996 by Dom in Stellenbosch, recently relocated to a historic building in Dorp Street, marking a new chapter aligned with the birth of Dom's daughter Mia.
Gino's, deeply rooted in family values, has remained a favorite across generations, priding itself on serving consistently good, affordable food. The Mazzas' dedication to their non-trendy, family-oriented approach ensures that Gino's is more than a restaurant; it's a legacy of familial love and culinary excellence.